TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – Officials say a black bear that mauled a girl in northern Michigan two years ago has been killed.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that the female bear was shot April 30 by a man who lived about 2 miles from where Abby Wetherell was attacked in August 2013.

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Wetherell was heading home from an evening jog on her grandfather’s property when the bear began chasing her. The girl was knocked down twice and slashed on one of her thighs — until her neighbor scared the animal away.

The 12-year-old needed more than 100 stitches to close deep wounds on her left leg and back.

Department spokesman Ed Golder says the bear recently attacked a dog that was chasing a cub. As the dog’s owner tried to help his fatally wounded pet, the adult bear approached. The man shot her.

Golder says DNA samples taken from the bear’s carcass and from hair and saliva on Abby’s clothing matched.

Shortly after Wetherell was attacked the DNR announced that the DNA of a bear killed did not match that of the bear that had attacked the young girl.

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The bear DNA was then checked against DNA from fur and saliva lifted from Abby’s clothing and from the scene of the attack.

The DNR reminds those living in an area where bears may be present:

• Travel in small groups and make noise to avoid surprising bears.
• Stand your ground and then slowly back away if you encounter a bear. Do not turn away. Do not show fear and run. Do not play dead.
• Make yourself look bigger and talk to the bear in a stern voice.
• Fight back if actually attacked with anything at hand — a backpack, a stick, bare hands.
• Carry pepper spray, which has been shown to be effective in fending off bear attacks.
For additional information on living with bears, visit the DNR website at



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